On outside influences… (Marriage Letters)

Dear Colin,

We’re kind of stubborn, a stubby-horn couple. Okay, I’m kind of stubborn. And you’re only stubborn in the sense that you refuse to be stubborn. But that’s what makes us such a neat pair… you compliment me.

People that are sometimes considered a “real piece of work” need complimenting. Even still, it’s one of few labels I might actually take pride in, understanding it to mean that I’m “complex”; and people who are complex are intelligent and philosophical and rich (if not with Louis Vuitton bags and a Maserati than with knowledge or discernment… I’d take any of those. If I could get my hands on more than one, God help me, I’ll be running through the hallways).

Stubborn (/ˈstəbərn/, adjective) – 1. The end result of knowing exactly what you like and don’t like. 2. Possessing strong ideals. 3. The price you pay to be sharp cheddar in the world of cheese.

See, stubbornness = not that bad, by my own definition. Stubbornness seems like a small cost for a wealth of intelligence.

I’m just saying stubbornness can be a little handy sometimes. Not just when I don’t want to wash the car, but also when I won’t let anyone tell me who I am. Or that religion is black and white. Or that marriage should be easy. There are things, I think, better to be stubborn about than all lukewarm, wishy washy Gumby man. How else can we protect our opinions and thoughts from being easily swayed or influenced by Fox News, or Brangelina, or (God forbid) social media.

What I’m trying to say is that without a little stub, our marriage could be easily manipulated by outside influences. And then we’d end up like Britney and K-Fed, or Taylor and Taylor, or Speidi (shudder!).

On outside influences | Lindsey Talerico-Hedren

Heidi and Spencer. Please don't let it happen to us.

We have good, well-shaped stub-horns in our marriage, and we file them down if they get too pointy so as not to poke an “I” out. Those stub-horns help us to pick our influences — what we will allow to affect our marriage and what we won’t.

Take ice cream, for instance. We are terrible at letting the mere thought of a double scoop of Kiss Kiss gelato from the Italian man up the street influence us. And when we lose control, it weaves its tiny but very strong prongs of influence into our eating habits, work out routine (since we are forced to exercise more when we eat so much gelato), bed time, dinner time, morning time — basically any time of the day since it’s the only thing on our minds.

Or take another example: new bags. When we see new bags, it’s like we are extra plump children in a lolly shop. Or grown Americans in a New Zealand bakery. We can’t help ourselves. The influence is too strong.

Lindsey Talerico-Hedren on Instagram

True story, this happened two days ago.

(*Note, I fought the urge just now to go off on a tangent about Hunger Games and its influence over my entire life, my past, present and future. But I won’t. I’m suffering. But I won’t. <– An example of good stubborn.)

Now we’re not Lois and Clark, so I’ll also point out that there are outside influences we’ve let take small jabs at our marriage, shaping decisions here and there — gossip, judgement, fighting the perceived status quo, first impressions, new friendships, lost friendships…. Sometimes we’ve found ourselves in the deeper end of influence swimming to where our feet can touch again. Sometimes we doggy-paddle and spit water in each other’s faces. But lots of times we hold on to one another on our own little piece of wooden door (I couldn’t resist the Titanic moment just now, sorry) and float past and through the rapids and tides of outside influence that want to overturn us.

It’s like we have our own little, unconscious “influence creed”. It goes a little something like this: Resist urges to be influenced poorly when we sense them, respond with forgiveness when we don’t sense them, stay close to those we trust and know, accept advice as much as possible, seek and build the support of one another, remind each other of the ideals we have for our marriage often.

Above all else, always always hold on to each other. And never let go (couldn’t help myself again, that was Leonardo’s big break).

Love you babe, Lindsey.

Marriage letters | The Runamuck BlogThe Hubstud and I have joined Scott and Joy, and others in the “married with confusion” boat by writing letters to the person who stands beside us, loves us, and forgives us time and time again; calling our marriages for what they are… hard work. But worth every effort. And believing that when you go hard after your marriage, I’m encouraged to go after mine.

I’ve been so deeply encouraged by the letters from all of the Marriage Letter writers and from the comments of our readers. If your new to my blog or the Marriage Letters, you might also like to read: Enduring loss together… (Marriage Letters) and I trust you because… (Marriage Letters) and don’t forget Colin’s amazing letter this week, I’m such a lucky, lucky wife. Snippet: …The good influences are not what we need to focus on. We enjoy these, we laugh at these, we cherish these every day. I am not worried about these. I am worried about the influences that we either, don’t speak about or the ones we don’t even notice. More on MARRIAGE LETTERS. PART THREE. About fortifying our walls and outside influences…

And consider writing your own Marriage Letter (maybe even to your future spouse) and adding it to the linky on the Runamuck blog this week.

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